Jamaica PM To Review Auditor General’s Report On Petrojam

(CNS) – Prime Minister Andrew Holness is scheduled to review a report by the Auditor General on the operations of the state-owned oil refinery, Petrojam, after which further action will be taken.

This was disclosed on Wednesday by Information Minister, Ruel Reid as he responded to questions posed by journalists during a post-Cabinet press briefing.

The report, titled ‘A Review of Aspects of Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) and a Comprehensive Audit of Petrojam Limited,’ was tabled in Parliament on Tuesday.

“The Prime Minister commissioned the report and he is now going to be privy to the report, and we will act based on the recommendations that are so contained in terms of the remedies. We have been very proactive in addressing some of the systemic issues that we have inherited,”  Reid said.

He stressed that the Government believes in strong, bold and transformational leadership, “and we can assure the public that this matter is going to be dealt with properly and to the satisfaction of all concerned.”

Meanwhile, the main opposition People’s National Party (PNP), has called for a forensic audit to be conducted at Petrojam.

In a statement, the PNP said in addition to the forensic audit of Petrojam, the matter should be immediately referred to the commissioner of police to begin criminal investigations into a number of what appears to be questionable transactions, including the donation of funds, payments to consultants and direct contracting of suppliers.

The opposition party noted that the audit report raised issues which occurred at Petrojam under the last PNP Administration and said it “welcomes a more detailed probe to determine who should be held accountable for the losses at the entity.”

According to the PNP, the forensic audit and the police investigation are necessary to ascertain what exactly took place at the state-owned oil refinery, and who are the culprits responsible for the disappearance or misappropriation of millions of tax-payers’ funds.

“The authorities must follow the money until it is known who is responsible; and we anticipate that those found guilty will be punished for their actions,” said the party’s General Secretary Julian Robinson.